Directed by Raja Gosnell, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Seth Green and Alicia Silverstone.

Scooby and the gang return to solve another crime in a sequel to 2002's underwhelming 'Scooby-Doo'. While both films have successfully translated the antics of Hanna-Barbera's animated characters Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and their human-like Great Dane Scooby to the big screen as live action adventure, neither seem to have invested too much in plot development. Ideas that worked over the course of a short cartoon are, despite sub-plots and red-herrings aplenty, just not interesting enough to keep your attention from wandering over a running time of nearly 90 minutes.

'Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed' opens with the Mystery Inc gang - Fred (Prinze Jr), Daphne (Gellar), Velma (Cardellini), Shaggy (Lillard) and their cowardly CGI mutt - being fêted as Coolsville's celebrity sleuths. But their fall from grace isn't far off. At an event to celebrate their crime-fighting prowess, the teens are humiliated when an evil masked foe breaks up the party, steals their collection of villains' costumes and uses them to create monsters that terrify the city.

With the Tar Monster, the Skelemen, the Pterodactyl Ghost, Captain Cutler’s Ghost and Miner 49er stalking the streets, Coolsville is turning into Ghoulsville - and everyone blames Mystery Inc. There's an ancestral mansion to explore, a spooky old mining town to investigate and a mystery to solve - it's business as usual for the Scooby-Doo crew.

The characters are one-dimensional (one could say cartoonish) with Matthew Lillard's uncanny Shaggy impression being the best of a boring lot. He also, with Scooby, has the best scene in the film - an undercover infiltration of a rogues' bar wearing psychedelic Seventies disco outfits that goes horribly wrong when Scooby's afro wig slips on the dance floor. Again, Scoob and Shaggy are the real stars, with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr and Linda Cardellini trailing along in their wake.

Inoffensive but uninspired, 'Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed' is a lifeless sequel with precious few scares or laughs. More rubbish aimed at the kids market.

Caroline Hennessy